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East Ladner townhouse plan gets third reading

The type of new field that would be added at Holly Park would be subject to consultation with sport user groups, according to the planning department
Delta council chambers had a large audience in attendance on Monday. Phil Melnychuk photo

A proposal to build a 56-unit townhouse development in East Ladner moved a step closer to approval following a public hearing at Municipal Hall on Monday.

Council voted in favour of granting third reading for a rezoning and Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment at 4726, 4740 and 4752 60B St. and 6100 Ladner Trunk Rd., which includes the consolidation of three residential lots on 60B Street into one parcel.

The proposal also includes a land exchange with the city to dedicate a parcel at the rear portion of 4726 and 4740 60B St. for park use in exchange for acquiring city-owned land at the rear portion of 6100 Ladner Trunk Rd for townhouses. That city parcel is currently part of the Holly Park Reserve.

An existing pump track at the site would be relocated, while $500,000 would be provided for park improvements.

According to the city, 814 pieces of correspondence were submitted in support of the project, a dozen expressing concern and 422 in opposition including more than 400 names on a petition.

Jeremy Stam, on behalf of Büro47 Architecture Inc., told council that “chronic underbuilding” in Delta since the boom construction years has resulted in the city being named as one of the first municipalities to be given a housing target by the province.

He said the “thoughtfully designed” development is ideally suited for “a diverse set of people.”

The first speaker from the public was Ben Morrison, a UBC student and Tsawwassen resident who predicted nearby homeowners will come out in opposition, as the case with most proposed new housing developments in Delta.

He said no new housing will, in fact, change community character due to “rich incumbent homeowners who come out and complain when new housing is proposed.”

The majority of speakers were in support and echoed similar views, including Delta Chamber of Commerce executive director Jill McKnight, talking about the need for more housing options.

Several speakers said they supported the Falcons Field Hockey Club, saying they want a new turf field exclusively for field hockey.

Mayor George Harvie later noted council was only focused on the townhouse application on its own.

Resident Gwen Martin, a 60B Street resident, said the majority of those in support are from outside the neighbourhood, conveying concerns including insufficient traffic calming. She said she is not opposed to such developments, but “proper planning” is required including an appropriate traffic survey.

Others in opposition conveyed traffic concerns, while one was in opposition to the land swap as well as the proposed density per lot.

Questioning the affordability of the development, another resident said the number of recent letters in favour made her wonder, asking if those letters are supporting the townhouse development or for a field hockey facility.

Coun. Alicia Guichon, saying the pitch by field hockey is raising a lot of questions and creates confusion, was the lone councillor to ask for the application to be sent back to staff for more information.